Everyone has a different definition of “lazy.” Maybe the definition includes taking the elevator in lieu of stairs. Maybe people are lazy if they watch TV marathons all weekend instead of going outside. But what if your job requires spending eight hours in a chair at a computer? Does this automatically make you lazy? No! However, you can get out of shape quickly if you don’t put in any extra effort.
Unfortunately, hitting the gym for thirty minutes a few times a week isn’t enough to counteract the eight hours spent sitting at a desk every day. Take any opportunity to move. Forgo the elevator for the stairs and choose a water fountain that’s farther from your desk. You can also work on your fitness while working away at deadlines. Below are five workouts to strengthen your core and burn calories while sitting at your desk.
1. Seated Crunch
Sit on the edge of your chair. Lean all the way back so your back touches the chair. Hold the arm rests for support. Lift your knees up, and make sure your knees are parallel to the floor. Bring your knees and chest toward each other accordion-style. Return to the start position and repeat ten times. Complete two to three sets. Avoid arching your back during this exercise.
2. Core Leg Lift
Sit straight in your chair and flex your abs. Lift one left leg up with your foot under your knee. You want your knee bent at a 90 degree angle, and your leg should be raised approximately six inches. Stay in this position for about 10 seconds. Slowly lower your foot and relax your abdominal muscles. Repeat with the other leg. Continue this exercise for one minute.
3. Bicycle Pedal
Sit on the edge of your chair and grab the arms for support. Move your legs as if you were pedaling a bicycle and contract your abs. Pedal in a smooth and circular motion. As with the seated crunch, you will want to avoid arching your back. Keep your tailbone slightly tucked in.
4. Russian Twist
Sit on the edge of your desk with your knees hanging over the side. Lean back at a 45 degree angle (or as far as possible) without arching your back. Twist all the way to the right with both hands, and touch a spot on your desk close to your right hip. Return to the center. Repeat this exercise on the left side. Aim for two to three sets of ten reps in each direction.
5. The Plank
This one might be difficult to do in a small cubical. If that is where you spend your time, try sneaking off to the break room. Doing a plank is more effective for your abs than a sit-up or a crunch. First, you need to get on the floor in a push-up position. Use your elbows instead of your hands. Hold this position. Start with 10 seconds, and increase your time as you do more of them. Try to keep your legs and your back straight.
If you have a private office, it won’t be too difficult to get these workouts in. However, it is potentially embarrassing to do them in the middle of a busy office. If this is your only option, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about; you may even get curious coworkers looking for core-strengthening secrets.
Your job may require you to sit at a desk all day, but it doesn’t require you to sacrifice your health, fitness or weight loss goals. Burn some calories, strengthen some muscles, and shed some pounds – all while getting some work done!